Heritage & Technology Laboratory
For a successful intervention on cultural heritage buildings, the effectiveness and compatibility of conservation materials and techniques should be assessed in laboratory, prior to application. The Heritage & Technology Laboratory has been set up for the development and assessment of solutions for the conservation of historic buildings. Materials, methods and theories are tested, which are relevant for the field practice of building conservation.
The laboratory includes facilities for characterization and testing of inorganic porous materials, such as optical and digital microscopes, digital linear measuring transducers, precision balances. New (conservation) materials, such as additivated (repair) mortars, can be prepared (mortar mixer and flow table are available), their physical properties (e.g. hygric behaviour, water absorption and drying) determined and their durability assessed by accelerated testing. In a climatic cabinet, weathering processes can be reproduced, giving insight into damage mechanisms affecting building materials in the field. Besides, facilities for on-site testing, monitoring and sampling are available.
Research performed in the lab includes the study of damage processes (e.g. moisture and salt related problems) in heritage buildings and the development of conservation solutions (e.g. desalination, self-healing mortars and surface treatments). Research is carried out for - or in collaboration with - public and private parties active in the field of conservation and rehabilitation of built cultural heritage.